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Eliminating childhood lead toxicity in Australia: a call to lower the intervention level

Med J Aust 2012; 197 (9): 493. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11159

To the Editor: On 5 June 2012, the forum “Eliminating childhood lead toxicity in Australia — a little is still too much” was held at Macquarie University to examine new evidence on the toxicity of lead and its implications for Australian children and communities.

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  • Mark P Taylor1
  • Chris Winder2
  • Bruce P Lanphear3

  • 1 Faculty of Science, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Faculty of Business, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 BC Children’s Hospital, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Correspondence: chris.winder@acu.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

We thank the Macquarie University Centre for Legal Governance for providing financial support for the forum. Mark Taylor is the recipient of a Macquarie University Excellence in Research Award, which was also used to fund the forum. We thank the forum attendees for contributing to discussions at the meeting and to the development of a consensus statement, on which this letter is based.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Lanphear BP, Hornung R, Khoury J, et al. Low-level environmental lead exposure and children’s intellectual function: an international pooled analysis. Environ Health Perspect 2005; 113: 894-899.
  • 2. Wilhelm M, Heinzow B, Angerer J, Schulz C. Reassessment of critical lead effects by the German Human Biomonitoring Commission results in suspension of the human biomonitoring values (HBM I and HBM II) for lead in blood of children and adults. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2010; 213: 265-269.
  • 3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC response to Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention recommendations in “Low level lead exposure harms children: a renewed call for primary prevention”. Atlanta: CDC, 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/acclpp/cdc_response_lead_exposure_recs.pdf (accessed Jul 2012).
  • 4. National Toxicology Program. NTP monograph on health effects of low-level lead. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2012. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/NTP/ohat/Lead/Final/MonographHealthEffectsLowLevelLead_prepublication_508.pdf (accessed Jul 2012).
  • 5. Taylor MP, Winder C, Lanphear BP. Eliminating childhood lead toxicity in Australia — a little is still too much. A consensus for a way forward to eliminate lead toxicity in Australian children. http://public.mq.edu.au/public/download.jsp?id=71937 (accessed Jul 2012).

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